Another honour for HOFer Andre Dawson

By Danny Gallagher
Canadian Baseball Network

JUPITER, Fla. -- Anytime Andre Dawson can get back to Montreal, he will do it.

This time, it’s a special honour.

On March 26, Dawson will be feted with the Montreal Expos Legend Award at the 13th annual Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors Foundation Celebrity Breakfast to be held in Montreal at the Gelber Conference Centre on Westbury Ave.

“I look forward to it,’’ Dawson was saying here in an interview. “When you’re honoured like that, it’s a rare occurrence, a recognition from the community. You’re thankful. You’re grateful. I’ve received a lot of post-playing accolades and this is one of them.’’

Dawson patrolled the outfield for the Expos with grace for over a decade and is a member of both the Canadian and Cooperstown halls of fame. He’s in his 16th season as an ambassador with the Marlins.

Also being recognized at the breakfast. is Expos’ broadcasting stalwart Rodger Brulotte, who gets the nod as the winner of the Larry Fredericks Media Award. Other honourees are NHL legend Mike Bossy and businessman Joel Leonoff. Lawyer Cookie Lazarus, who knew Dawson and other Expos’ players way back when, is the honourary chair of the breakfast and emcees are journalist Mike Cohen and broadcaster Charles-Andre Marchand.

NOTES: The famous Sam Bat company in Carleton Place, Ont. has some 130 major-league clients but none with the Blue Jays. “When Jose Bautista left us a few years ago, he went to become part-owner of a rival company Marucci,’’ said Alfred Maione, Sam Bat’s director of pro production and sales. And what happened is that any Sam Bat Blue Jays’ players switched to Marucci. “But we’re still hoping to get some Blue Jays on board,’’ Maione said. Maione and Sam Bat’s director of team sales Ben Milinkovich are making the rounds of spring-training camps and were at the Marlins’ site this week. What I was told by another bat manufacturer is that Sam Bat and all other approved bat companies pay MLB a steep annual fee of $15,000 U.S. plus they have to purchase a $10-million insurance plan.  ... Ontario native and Marlins trainer Mike Kozak is going into his 37th season as a major-league trainer. He spent decades in that role with the Expos before going to the Marlins. Talking of Expos’ legends, Marlins’ play-by-play man Dave Van Horne is heading into his 49th MLB season. Isn’t that something? He’s ageless at 77. He looks more like 60. The 2019 season will be his landmark 50th season. “This is my 17th season with the Marlins. It’s hard to believe,’’ Van Horne said. ... Former Expos’ shortstop Chris Speier is bench coach for the Washington Nationals and from time to time, like he did recently, he’s manager of any of the team’s split-squad games during spring training. He told me has no aspirations to be a MLB manager. “Maybe a few years ago but not now,’’ Speier said. When he played for the Expos, he lived a lot of the time up north in the Quebec town of Ste. Adele where he learned to cross-country ski. Speier is one physical fitness nut. “I work out a few times a week and do a lot of cardio.’’ He has been living in southern California for the last eight years after a 23-year stint in Phoenix. “I got tired of Phoenix. It was very hot and I wanted to be around water.’’

Danny Gallagher

Danny was born in Ted Lindsay's hometown of Renfrew, Ont. but his roots are in nearby Douglas. He played 27 consecutive seasons of top-level amateur baseball in the senior ranks in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec and thrived on organizing events himself, the major one being the highly successful 1983 Canadian senior men's tournament in Sudbury. He began covering the Montreal Expos in 1988 when he joined the Montreal Daily News. Later, he was the Expos beat writer for the Ottawa Sun and Associated Press. He has written four baseball books, including Remembering the Montreal Expos, which he co-authored with Bill Young of Hudson, Que. Gallagher and Young are currently working on a book about the ill-fated 1994 Expos squad. Gallagher can be reached here: dannogallagher@rogers.com